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Quick Guide to Proper MLA Formatting of Papers
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GUIDELINES FOR PROPER FORMATTING OF RESEARCH PAPER
The Modern Language Association (MLA) Style is widely used for identifyingresearch sources. In MLA style you briefly credit sources with parentheticalcitations in the text of your paper, and give the complete description of eachsource in your Works Cited list. The Works Cited list, is a list of all the sources used in your paper, arranged alphabetically by author's last name, or when there is no author, by the first word of the title (except A, An or The).
In the text of your paper:
- The first gambling Web site appeared in 1995, and online gambling hassince become the most lucrative Internet business (Will 92).
- George Will reported that in 2002 Internet gambling surpassedpornography to become the Internet's most lucrative business (92).
- Also, note that after the author has been cited once, if you again quote or paraphrase from the same work, then only use the page number until a new author is used.
- It is widely expected that pornography will net billions of dollars in profit in the next decade (93).
- However, other pundits think Will’s estimates are clearly over-inflated(Davis 108).
- If the work you are citing is from a website, put the first word of the page in quotations if the author is unknown:
- Golden Palace.com claims to have the largest percentage of internetgamblers in the world. (“Golden”).
- If the website author is known, use the last name only, no paginationneeded.
- While gambling for money may be increasing in popularity, free gamesstill rule the online world. (Smith)
In your Works Cited list:
Davis, John. Conservative Hysteria. New York: Hyperion, 2005
Will, George F. "Electronic Morphine." Newsweek 25 Nov. 2002: 92.
“Golden Palace.” 10 November 2005.
Smith, Chris. “Keep Gaming Free.” Online Gaming . 10 November 2005. http://wwww.onlinegaming.com
Most common entries for your research papers:
One Author [5.6.1]
- Brinkley, Alan. The Unfinished Nation. New York: Knopf, 1993.
Editor or Compiler [5.6.2]
- If the person named on the title page is the editor or compiler, rather than the author, add a comma then the abbreviation "ed." or "comp."
- Carpenter, Allan, comp. Facts About the Cities. New York: Wilson, 1992.
- Kreider, Jan F., ed. Handbook of Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. Boca Raton: CRC, 1993.
Two or More Authors [5.6.4]
- List the names in the order they appear on the title page.
- Only the first author's name should be reversed: Last Name, First Name.
- Use a comma between the authors' names. Place a period after the last author's name.
- Rowe, Richard, and Larry Jeffus. The Essential Welder: Gas Metal Arc Welding Classroom Manual. Albany: Delmar, 2000.
- If there are more than three authors, name only the first and add et al., or give all the names.
- Randall, John E., Gerald R. Allen, and Roger C. Steene. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Honolulu: U of Hawaii P, 1997.
- Author. "Title of Article." Title of Magazine Date: Page(s).
- Talcott, Richard. "Great Comets." Astronomy May 2004: 36-41.
No Author Given [5.7.9]
- If no author's name is given, begin with the title of the article.
- "Qantas Looks to Airbus for Long-Range Aircraft." Aviation Week and Space Technology 5 Apr. 2004: 22.
SCHOLARLY JOURNAL ARTICLES
Journal with Continuous Pagination Through the Volume [5.7.1]
- Author. "Title of Article." Title of Journal Volume number (Year): Page(s).
- Davis, William D., Thomas Cleary, Michelle Donnelly, and Samuel Hellerman. "Using Sensor Signals to Analyze Fires." Fire Technology 39 (2003): 295-308.
About this Document
The MLA guidelines can be bewildering; there are more types of citations than most students will ever use. I created this condensed list for the most common types of sources used.